Stories about Design, Code & Minimalism. (RSS)

A Journey to Simplicity: Getting Simple

Over the last three years, I found myself spending long hours reading and writing on how to simplify my life, on how to do less things but do them better, on how to make things as easy as they can be, on how to remove the unnecessary complexities from my daily routine.

Today, I am glad to announce Getting Simple—a new adventure towards simplicity, a journey to bring the focus of our lives back to the things that matter. I invite you to join me on this journey. Sit back. Relax. It all begins here.

In a world full of inputs, to-dos, commitments, and notifications; We struggle to find time to do the things that really matter to us. How many times have you said to yourself: "I would love to do X but I don't have time for it?" To accomplish your goals, you need self-discipline, clarified goals, to take your time seriously and to simplify your life, to establish a series of conditions for stress-free productivity.

As Dieter Rams puts it, we need to do Less But Better. Simplify our lives; Focus our efforts; and Execute.

In order to amplify our efforts, we need to focus on just one thing. Even more important than knowing what to do is knowing what not-to-do. Everything that doesn't contribute to our end goal should be ruthlessly rejected—as it can only distract you from reaching your aim.

Be minimal. Reduce stress by simplifying your life: digital systems; physical clutter; daily habits; they all need to be simplified to disconnect and focus on your work.

Minimalism is, in its essence, having less to worry about—in all aspects of your life. An acceptance of our time-limited lives. David Allen knew it, the key wasn’t in being the most organized person, but in focusing your aims to really few things. He posed it as “you can do anything, but not everything.”

Peace

When there is no desire, all things are at peace. — Laozi

I find this quote extremely related to how Francine Jay defines happiness. The peace described by Laozi comes for the mere fact of wanting what you already have, of being happy with it.

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What Else?

Ideally, you would focus on doing just one thing; do it; then move into doing something else. But in the end, you find so many distractions. Tasks take longer to do than expected. Things get post-poned for tomorrow, for next week, or for never.

Again and again, what happens is not that we don’t have time to do stuff, is that we want to do more stuff than we can. What else would you be able to do if you renounce to non-important things?

6 Books to Create And Simplify Your Life

Close to finish what you are currently reading?
Take a look at a few books that—in some way or another—changed my life.

Over the last years, I have been lucky enough to find a series of books which helped me getting introduced to organization methods and learning how to work on my own projects in a consistent way. (A project could be any life-goal you set for yourself to do.)

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (David Allen). Allen presents a powerful way to manage and organize the tasks and projects you want to complete—how to get things done, basically—in order to have a good work-life balance. Get it from Amazon.

  • Making Ideas Happen (Scott Belsky). Techniques and work habits to make your creative projects happen. From the creator of Behance. Get it from Amazon.

  • Unclutter Your Life In One Week (Erin Doland). Even the most common sense tasks of your daily life—as can be organizing your clothes or getting rid of physical clutter—can benefit from fire-proof methods tested by others. In this case, Erin Doland provides a handful of them. Get it on Amazon.

  • All Marketers Are Liars (Seth Godin). A swift introduction to marketing. How to wrap what you have to offer around a story so it can be understood and spread by others. Get it on Amazon. Read Seth’s blog.

  • The Art Of Non-Conformity (Chris Guillebeau). Go away from the life you are supposed to live and enjoy an unconventional way of living doing what you actually like doing and, maybe, making a profit out of it. Get it from Amazon.

  • The 4-hour Work Week (Timothy Ferris). Change the way you see life. Get to know the new rich, the one that makes the amount of money needed for the way of living he really wants—but not more—being able to work less hours as a result. Get it from Amazon.

Hope you found this useful. I strongly believe that, even when books tell us things that are damn simple and obvious, advice from people who learned the hard way, after years of experience, is extremely valuable. No matter how basic their recommendations are, they are useless if we don’t make an effort for them to be present in our daily lives.

We all know "the right thing to do," but do we actually do it?

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Please, Wait Here

August 12, 2015. I was on holiday in my hometown, Málaga, south of Spain. The summer was a transition between living in the United Kingdom to living in the United States—to disconnect and sort out a fair amount of paperwork I had to do before leaving.

That day, I had an appointment to renew my Passport at the police station. That was all I would worry about that morning. I got inside the building, said my name at the front desk, and heard the magic words: "Please, wait here."

And there I was. I had been given a precious gift. A few minutes or, maybe, half an hour, when all I could do was just sit there and wait for my turn. A span of time in a context you would never decide to be on your own, but now you have been forced to. All you have to do is sit there and do nothing.

It is a precious moment for yourself. A moment when you can think. You can empty your mind. You can write. You can listen to music. You can do nothing.